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Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps with Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Serves 8


    These taco-inspired lettuce wraps are full of vibrant flavour tempered by subtle heat, all topped off with a zingy tomatillo salsa. Shredding the chicken helps to make a small quantity of chicken feed a crowd, and the texture pairs well with the light wrapper. The bright salsa features heart-healthy tomatillos, which contain phytochemicals called withanolides, which studies have found can help inhibit cancer cell growth.


    Quick shred

    If you have a kitchen mixer with a paddle attachment, you can use it to quickly and easily shred chicken for taco lettuce wraps. After chicken has rested, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Reserve any pan juices that may have accumulated in the baking dish.

    Turn mixer on to a low-to-medium speed and process the chicken for 30 seconds to 1 minute, so that chicken is just separated, being careful not to overprocess. Add in cooking juices and mix through with spoon. To shred chicken by hand, use two forks to gently pull meat apart before combining with pan juices. 


    Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps with Tomatillo Salsa Verde


      Chicken filling
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) bittersweet paprika
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) lime zest
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
      • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
      • 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 3 hearts of romaine, approximately 12 oz (350 g) total
      Tomatillo salsa
      • 4 tomatillos
      • 1/2 serrano pepper, seeds included
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 cup (250 mL) cilantro


      Per serving:

      • calories160
      • protein12 g
      • total fat10 g
        • sat. fat2 g
      • total carbohydrates6 g
        • sugars0 g
        • fibre3 g
      • sodium180 mg



      In small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, lime zest and juice, and garlic to make a paste. Spread paste over chicken breasts and massage, making sure meat is well covered by paste. Place chicken in glass container with lid; cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.


      Meanwhile, make tomatillo salsa. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Peel tomatillos and rinse to remove sticky residue. Remove any prominent stems. In baking dish, place tomatillos, serrano pepper, garlic cloves, and olive oil. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, turning once. Allow to cool and add to bowl of food processor with cilantro. Be sure to include oil from baking dish. Blend until smooth.


      When ready to cook, remove chicken from fridge and allow it to come to room temperature while you preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Bake chicken for 40 minutes, turning once during cooking time. When internal temperature reaches 165 F (74 C), remove from oven and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.


      Using kitchen mixer (see tip) or by hand, shred chicken.


      To serve, fill romaine lettuce cups with shredded chicken, a bit of cabbage slaw (see previous recipe), and top with tomatillo salsa. Alternatively, place big bowls of cabbage and chicken on table and allow people to fill their own lettuce cups. Serve with plenty of lime wedges and extra cilantro.



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